W. FLOOD : Chapter Twenty

W. Flood

 

Chapter Twenty

I turned on the lights to my small bedroom and let Glory walk in first ahead of me. I’m a gentleman. I could never tire of watching her walk, just the sight of her moving was enough for me to smile, and salivate a bit. Her limbs were fucking cute. The way I felt couldn’t be natural. I felt foolish, but having her so close to me was strange. It shouldn’t have been strange, but it was, everything always is. I don’t know how to act properly. It was so hard to be myself with the tireless analysis of every single move or word. I was so keen on her and she didn’t care about those things that made me vulnerable. I had no reason to feel out of sorts but I nevertheless did. The way her jeans looked made me feel a little bit better. I won’t lie.

“We have to be quiet. Catherine is asleep.” I said in a whisper that I guided safely into her ear.

She looked around at the room. “This is awesome! Where did you get the coffin?”

“My best friend Ronnie and I made these coffins when we were in junior high. We got one each. You got the stakes, I got the coffin.” I wrestled my phone from my pocket, I looked at the copious amounts of missed calls and voice messages. What the fuck was I doing? I missed my family. My friends were always like family to me and I felt guilty about shunning them.

Pangur was on the unmade bed, Glory sat beside her and softly petted her frail frame. Pangur was so close to the end of her road. I needed to make a decision and soon. “So this is Pangur Ban. She is so pretty for an old lady. What the fuck is a Pangur Ban? What do you mean?” Glory spoke to my cat. I fumbled with opening fresh beers, first handing Glory hers and then I put mine out toward her to clink her bottle against mine. Slainte.
“Pangur Ban, is the title of an old, old poem about a dude’s cat. Ninth or tenth century, I’m not positive. Irish stuff.”

I put on Chelsea Wolfe, low but audible. I thought how unromantic it was to click a button to hear music. To put the needle to a record is something of a aphrodisiac. I needed a record player. Fuck. My old one broke ages ago.

“How old is she?” asked Glory.

“As ancient as the poem.”

“Oh, no,” said Glory as Pangur Ban walked the length of the bed hunched over, almost a stretch and emptied her bladder. Glory rose slowly, unaffected by the amount of piss but concerned. Why must everything be so embarrassing? Life is undignified.

“Pangur, No!”

“Oh, no.”

“I’m sorry. Should I be embarrassed? She is losing control of her bodily functions. This happens. She is really sick.” I turned to my cat, “Come on! Babe, now?”

“Aww. Poor thing. That is so sad. No need to be embarrassed.” Glory rubbed my back, as if I was the one who pissed the bed. I hadn’t done that in months. Honest.

“Fuck.”

“It’s really an obscene amount of piss. How is it possible for something so small to retain that much liquid? She never even drinks her water. I don’t get it.”

“Isn’t it? Toilet maybe.” Pangur hopped off the bed.

I removed the comforter and the sheets from the bed. “I have to clean this. I’m going to put these in the washing machine.”

“Can I help?” Glory asked, thoughtfully.

I envisioned myself throwing my beer on her and telling her to remove her clothes so I could wash those too. I’m good at ruining moments. I refrained. “There are blankets in the coffin. I’m sorry but we will have to sleep on the floor.”

“I don’t care where we sleep. It’s not the end of the world. Stop worrying.” She kissed me.

When I returned from the kitchen Glory was not in the room. There was a nice cozy bed set up on the floor with the quilts from the coffin and throw pillows from the bed. “Glory? Glory? Where are you?” I had a handful of stain remover and remembered how terrible cat piss smells as the smell punched me in the nose. Then it occurred to me where this little weirdo might have been hiding. I smiled, lifting the lid of the coffin open.

“You fit. I haven’t fit in that thing since I was sixteen.”

“I do fit. It’s snug in here. How about you pretend I’m dead. What would you say about me? Give me a proper eulogy”.

“I don’t want to eulogize you. I don’t know you well enough yet to deliver a eulogy.”

“Just do it. Say something nice.”

“Fine but you can’t look at me.” I shut the lid and sat on top. “Can you breathe?” She clawed the inside of the coffin. “Is that a yes?” More clawing. “Hold on what is your last name?”

“It’s Mayberry. Gloria Mayberry.”

“I like it.” I said lifting the lid of the coffin as I stood up. “Well, Thank you for coming here. Am I supposed to thank people? Wait! What did you die from?”

“Witch hunt. I was hanged.” She hung herself with an imaginary rope, her wet tongue dangled.

“What fucking year is this?”

“1692, who cares. Proceed.”

“I am deeply saddened by the sudden execution of Glory Mayberry. I didn’t know her all that well.” I looked at her, her wry smile, her crayon blue jeans. Blau. I thought of what she said about the being true to myself, about not caring what others might think. I decided to just be honest, it wasn’t as much about being honest to her than it was about finally saying aloud what I really thought and how I truly felt.

“I saw Glory at Anne Bonny’s. It was excruciatingly painful for me to look away from her. She was so beautiful. I was completely smitten. I knew it. I knew everything she wore and how on some days her hair was straight and other days a bit wild. I wanted to smell it. I wanted to sniff her head so badly. I don’t know much about her and that is what makes me sad the most. That I won’t be able to learn everything about her. I won’t be able to be a part of her life. I wanted to be Glory’s best friend. I know she wanted to be an actress. I know her parents were amazing. I know she wished she was nicer to her sister. Her therapist was aces. I know she was smart and she was funny. Had I known she was going to be a victim of such mass hysteria, I would have spoken to her sooner. Its my fault, you see, I am at a place in my life were I don’t know if love is real, or if things in life are ever truly right. I was looking for isolation and distance and instead I stumbled upon a woman, a woman I did my best to avoid, to admire from afar, in order to save her and protect myself from certain heartache. I wish I would have found more quotes. Had I known the inevitable I would have never let myself shy away from touching her at each possible rendezvous. A lobster claw snapping at her arm or an affectionate squeeze of her neck whenever in close range. I wanted to be her person. From the moment I found out about her existence I thought about her everyday. Quelle domage. Maybe we could have had something intrinsic, something irrefutable. She could have helped me, she could have been the person, my person, who gave me the sustenance and could have amended my recurring feeling of disorientation. Maybe with her beside me I would never feel lost again.”

She looked up at me and I couldn’t gauge what was going on inside her pretty scalp.

“Ok I think I should stop there.”

“It was lovely.” She climbed out and rolled over to my feet, crashing into my legs. She pulled me down to the floor by the bottom of my shirt. “I want to kill you.” I would have let her too.

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